Christmas is four months away, but Ellijay local Bernadette Lee is giving her time and energy now to prepare Christmas gifts to give to needy children during the holidays.
Lee is a loyal volunteer of a unique non-profit organization called Operation Christmas Child that packs empty shoe boxes full of small gifts to send to children who need them around the world during the Christmas season. But Lee fills her shoe box gifts with a special kind of item – she hand sews and decorates small butterbean dolls made out of scraps of fabric to pack in her shoe box gifts.
Lee started making the dolls for Operation Christmas Child last year at Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Ga. Since then, Lee moved to the Ellijay area and has inspired people in Ellijay and other cities across the Greater Atlanta Area to help with this unique project. Midge Miller, an Operation Christmas Child volunteer in Snellville, Ga., heard about Lee’s idea and has started the butterbean doll project at Westminster Presbyterian Church in that city.
According to Joan Friedman, now the project’s coordinator at Church of the Apostles, “the ranks of crafters at churches, even those who are not ‘crafty,’ are growing rapidly.”
Why sew dolls? According to missionary pastors whom Lee and other volunteers met at an Operation Christmas Child international conference, many needy girls who will receive the shoe box gifts want one thing – a doll.
Want more information about Operation Christmas Child? Go to samaritanspurse.org/occ to find out more. You can also reach out to any of the volunteers mentioned in this article for more information or to get involved with Operation Christmas Child.
Bernadette Lee – Ellijay, Ga. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan Friedman – Smyrna, Ga. email@example.com
Midge Miller – Snellville, Ga. firstname.lastname@example.org